Women Leaving IT Product Management Over Past Five Years, Annual Survey Indicates

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., December 20, 2004–According to the 2004 Annual Product Management Salary Survey from Pragmatic Institute Inc., an international training company specializing in IT product management, women have steadily exited the product management job function since 2000.

“Our 2000 survey showed that women comprised 39 percent of IT product managers,” reports Steve Johnson, Pragmatic Institute vice president and chief instructor for the company’s top-rated courses, Practical Product Management™ (now called Foundations and Focus) and Requirements That Work™ (now called Build). “This year,” he continues, “only 25 percent of IT product managers are female. This is clearly a significant drop.”

Johnson first published the salary survey in 1999. In addition to compensation, it reviews product manager responsibilities and other key aspects of the job function. Each year, Johnson queries thousands of current and former Pragmatic Institute clients from U.S. enterprise and desktop hardware and software companies. An author and international speaker, Johnson is a 25-year IT veteran in the technical, marketing and sales areas of the enterprise and desktop hardware and software industry.

“I have no hard evidence why women are leaving product management,” Johnson says. “It could be due to salary discrepancy, but not necessarily. According to our survey, the discrepancy between female and male product managers has not shifted since 2000 – it averaged 10 percent less for women then and it’s still about 10 percent less today.”

“This is a very smart, highly skilled group of people mostly in their mid-30s,” he continues. “In spite of the gender difference in salaries, they’re also well-paid.” The 2004 survey reports that the average product manager earns a $90,545 annual salary and $11,810 bonus per year. Seventy eight percent of product managers earn bonuses, according to the survey.

Craig Stull, President and CEO of Pragmatic Institute and the company’s founder, says the survey provides a unique benefit to clients and to the industry.

“Steve initiated the survey because IT clients at several levels were asking him how much they should be making as product managers – or how much they should be paying product managers,” he says. “There was nowhere for them to find this data. Over the years, the Product Management Salary Survey has become an industry benchmark.”

Johnson’s continuous work with product managers across a range of IT firms provides him unusual insight, not just about the job function, but about its role in the success of the industry.

“What I’m seeing overall is that the IT industry is ‘growing up’,” Johnson reports. “Before the dot.bomb, many companies were running their businesses like a hobby. Most of those were wiped out. Now the strategic side of IT business is absolutely critical, and product managers increasingly are being asked for their help in shaping its future.”

The complete 2004 Annual Product Management Salary Survey plus previous surveys since 2000 are available at www.pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/annual-survey.

About Pragmatic Institute
Pragmatic Institute was founded in 1993 and has become the authority on technology product management and marketing. The company has trained more than 125,000 product management and marketing professionals, with more than 50,000 becoming Pragmatic Institute Certified. Pragmatic Institute’s team of thought leaders produce blogs, webinars, podcasts and publications that product professionals around the world turn to for industry insights. For more information, please visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com or call 480-515-1411.

Media Contact:
Lisa Sorg-Friedman